live music & contemporary dance
“Who counts as human? Whose lives count as lives? And, finally, What makes for a grievable life? Despite our differences in location and history, my guess is that it is possible to appeal to a “we,” for all of us have some notion of what it is to have lost somebody. …Let’s face it”. Judith Butler, Precarious Life.
Concept and choreography by dancer choreographer and director Bedirhan Dehmen, whose works have been staged at Moda Sahnesi, Istanbul Modern Art Museum, Maxim Gorki Theater (Berlin), Suzanne Dellal Center (Tel Aviv), Pavillon Noir (Aix-en-Provence) etc.
Music and live performance by Cem Yıldız, “Modern Times Ashik” and multi-instrumentalist who merges psychedelic Anatolian music with acid folk.
© Julien Aksoy
In “we”, three male dancers in the performance space alternately move through series of trio movement forms in close and constant physical contact, dual action dialogues, and moments of individual outbursts of energy. They dig deep into their memories and bodies striving to explore what binds us together. They tirelessly search for unity in multiplicity while re-enacting and re-staging their experiences of communion and conflict, tenderness and violence, strength and vulnerability, and trauma and healing along the way.
Cem Yildiz, the renowned musician who distinctly re-interprets the Anatolian aşık tradition by introducing psychedelic and acid folk elements, joins and guides them with his electro-acoustic musical universe.
There exists a multi-layered dramaturgical texture in “we”. Name of the piece was taken from queer theorist and philosopher Judith Butler’s book, Precarious Life. This particular usage refers to a universal ethical notion and position defined on the basis of having lost somebody and fostered by the deep belief that we are undone by each other. Although, neither exalted as sacred codes nor framed as a formal showcase of a religion; some of the building blocks of Alawi-Bektashi doctrine, which could also be found in some other Anatolian esoterisms, such as unity in multiplicity, the oneness of being, and dying before death are also among the dramaturgical references of the piece. Lastly, an acknowledgment and affirmation of physical touch and sensual communication among men is a dramaturgical constant in “we”.
© Orçun Ataman
Created with and Performed by
Bedirhan Dehmen, Canberk Yıldız, Cem Yıldız, Mihran Tomasyan (Ejder Keskin / Alper Marangoz)
Concept and Choreography
Social Media Planning
Management Turkey and Worldwide
Caféturc Music & Arts
Duration: 50 min.
* “we” was produced for the Modern Dance Ensemble Istanbul (MDTist) whose artistic director is Beyhan Murphy, under the body of Istanbul State Opera and Ballet (IDOB), and is still in the MDTist repertoire. With our endless thanks to them for their support…
© Julien Aksoy
© Julien Aksoy
Venues and festivals where “we” performed
•Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin (as part of Voicing Resistance Festival)
•Suzanne Dellal Center, Tel Aviv (as part of Tel Aviv Summer Dance Festival)
•Les Halles de Schaerbeek, Brussels (as part of Europalia Arts Festival)
•Istanbul Modern Art Museum, Istanbul
•Fulya Sanat Merkezi, İstanbul (as part of Intercultural Dialogue Day, organized by Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, Modern Dance Ensemble Istanbul)
•Karşıyaka Opera and Theatre, Izmir
•Tiyatro D22, Istanbul
•Moda Sahnesi, Istanbul
•Boğaziçi University Garanti Kültür Merkezi, Istanbul
Bedirhan Dehmen - dancer, choreographer, director
He took part as dancer and stage director in productions of Bogazici University Folklore Club (1995 -2000) and Bogazici Performing Arts Ensemble (2000-2006). Since 2007, as dancer choreographer and director he has been creating independently or in collaboration with artists from national and international contemporary performing arts scene, such as:
Monday in the Sun (2008), Human Writes (2008), Tevhid/Birlik/Oneness (2010), Off Course (2010), “we” (2014), Eternal Spring (2015), Birds Assembly (2015), Full Moon (2015), Medjnoun and Leyla (2017), Ballerina (2018) and Marathon (2018). His works were performed in many local and international stages: Moda Sahnesi, İstanbul Modern Art Museum, garajistanbul, Süreyya Opera, Maxim Gorki Tiyatrosu (Berlin), Suzanne Dellal Dance and Theatre Center (Tel-Aviv), Megaron (Athens), Pavillon Noir (Aix-en-Provence), Teatri di Vita (Bologna), Les Halles de Schaerbeek (Brussels) etc.
Holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Sociology from Boğaziçi University and a Phd degree in Theatre Criticism and Dramaturgy from Istanbul University with thesis entitled “Dance-Theater Meeting in the last quarter of 20th century: Bausch, Wandkeybus, Newson”. Working in dance history/theory, physical theater/dance theater, dance dramaturgy and composition, Dehmen has been teaching as faculty member (asst. prof.) at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Performing Arts Dept. Contemporary Dance Branch, and at Koç University as guest teacher.
Cem Yıldız - musician, composer
Being called as “Modern Day Âshik”, Cem Yıldız received his first music training at Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory. He designed and produced the album HÜ, composed of Alevi songs and works. The characteristic sound he has signed with Orient Expressions and Insanlar bands, and music he has composed for series/movies have been critically acclaimed.
Many solo works… A collaboration with the international hit Acid Arab… The multi-instrumentalist Cem Yildiz performed at many world-renowned music festivals, from the Montreux Jazz Festival to Sonar Barcelona.
•2019 Cem Yıldız – Kün (LP)
•2019 İnsanlar - Demedim mi? (LP)
•2016 Cem Yıldız – Cem’an
•2014 İnsanlar – Kime Ne (LP)
•2010 Cem Yıldız 6 Smadj & Rustam Mahmudzade – HÜ
•2008 Orient Expressions – Kırık Kalpler Albümü
•2007 Cem Yıldız – Aşk İmkânsız
•2006 Sabahat Akkiraz & Orient Expressions – Külliyat
•2004 Orient Expressions – Divan